For many holiday shoppers, Black Friday marks the official kickoff to the gift-buying season. But the following day, November 28, is Small Business Saturday, and can be a more satisfying way to shop for gifts for loved ones.

At a time of year where big box retailers offer deep discounts, this annual opportunity to show local businesses your support is also a great way to score unique items while benefitting the local economy.

Here are some retail trends and other things to consider as you shop at your favorite small businesses.

The Local Economy

By supporting small businesses, you are supporting local job creation. In fact, small firms accounted for over three-fifths of the new jobs created between 1993 and mid-2013, according to government statistics. With the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express reporting that $14.3 billion was spent with independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday in 2014, spending your holiday shopping budget locally strengthens Main Street and can help your community’s economy thrive.

New Technologies

A common stereotype of mom and pop stores are that they are antiquated and overpriced, but many small businesses are adopting new technologies to streamline their operations; which can be an important consideration for shoppers in a hurry or on a budget.

For example, new Android based point of sale terminals, such as the ergonomically designed V-R7000 and V-R7100 from Casio have widescreen LCD touch panels, and an intuitive, high-resolution interface for faster sales and fewer transactional snafus. For instance, these terminals come equipped with a battery to protect memory data in the event of a power failure, and offer efficient store operations by eliminating common hardware problems experienced with PC based hardware.

Such information terminals are helping to transform retail management by offering small businesses a chance to better compete against their big box counterparts.

Exclusive Items

Make a splash with one-of-a-kind and unforgettable gifts this season. From the gift shop with handmade crafts made by neighborhood artisans to the bookshop selling the works of local authors, shopping at small businesses means encountering items on sale that you won’t find elsewhere.

If you are shopping for someone who seemingly has everything, going local can help you get inspired.

Consider doing your holiday shopping a bit differently this year, by making a point of supporting small, local businesses on Small Business Saturday and beyond.


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